By on October 29, 2004

Victorian Road Freight Advisory Council Forum 2004
Freight Task Set to Double. What’s Needed?

Tony Tamburro, Conundrum Holdings

The Victorian Road Freight Advisory Council (VRFAC) agenda is currently focusing on the growing freight task and what is needed to cope with the ever increasing demands of the future.

Road freight requirements have been on the increase for many years and over the past several years road freight has increased from 1.7% to 3.9% annually. By the year 2020, road freight activity is expected to double that of today.

With this information, the VRFAC has now set about seeking ideas to manifest into its overall plan to improve current transport issues and facilitate requirements for the future. Their concerns focus on requirements particularly necessary for Melbourne and outlying suburbs.

Members of the VRFAC are considering:

  • Better use of existing transport facilities and ways to encourage back loading
  • Better use of existing routes and roads
  • The introduction of more public transport
  • Improve dedicated roads for better freight transport
  • Vehicles to be more closely matched to the roads on which they operate
  • New technology to improve and manage available road space
  • Load capacities
  • Proposals to government for more/better roads to improve freight deliveries
  • Improved facilities on dedicated routes to assist drivers needs

There is a broad perspective that generally most road users are apprehensive and dissatisfied with trucks on our roads. Issues such as noise, fumes and truck-driver attitude are always an issue with the community at large.

Other perceptions involve customers who require freight regularly. They assume:

  • Trucks can be used as warehouses thereby negating the need to hold stock
  • Trucks can remain on standby until needed

On the other hand, some transport operators are pursuing issues:

  • Specific lanes for freight transport on dedicated routes
  • Specific lanes with dedicated speed limits on dedicated routes
  • Improved driver education and mutual respect by all road users
  • Revisions to road regulations to supplement the above
  • Customers paying cartage costs based on their demand frequency or lead-time requirements

The VRFAC is working closely with government and other organisations to maintain focus on issues such as speeding, drug and alcohol, fatigue, road design and heavy vehicle safety. It is also setting up workshops to view strategies for future proposals.

Their goal is to see a developed road infrastructure that will improve traffic flow, targeted research and safety education, road safety, impact on the community, and together with revisions to regulation reduce much of the freight transport problems existing today.

Vic Roads Load Restraint Guide
Guidelines and performance standards for the safe carriage of loads on road vehicles

The safe loading of vehicles is vitally important in preventing injury to people and damage to property. There are economic benefits to all if the load arrives at its destination intact and without damage.

The Load Restraint Guide provides drivers, owners, operators, freight consignors, vehicle manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers with the basic safety principles that should be followed to ensure the safe carriage of loads.

The information is based on proved principles and the ability of load restraint equipment to apply the necessary restraint forces. It takes into account the performance of vehicles and towed trailers.

The guide is in two parts. Part 1 is for Drivers and Operators, Part 2is intended for Engineers and Designers.

Taken from the Introduction of the Load Restraint Guide, 2004

The Load Restraint Guide is now available from the CMPA at a cost of $10.

Transport Workers Award Update

Members are advised that Senior Deputy President Harrison of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission has varied clause 33.3 Hours of Work of the Transport Workers Award 1998.

These changes became operative as of the 1st of August, 2004.

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